HC Deb 23 May 1950 vol 475 cc1841-2
46. Mr. Osborne

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the result of his recent discussions with the Trade Union Congress regarding a national minimum wage; if any figure has been agreed as the minimum required for a worker to meet his reasonable needs; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir Stafford Cripps)

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave him on the 25th April, to which I have nothing to add.

Mr. Osborne

As the T.U.C. are considering the desirability of establishing a minimum wage for the nation, could the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether he has considered it at all, and, if so, at what figure he thinks it could be established?

Sir S. Cripps

No, Sir, I cannot.

Mr. Osborne

Why not?

52. Sir William Darling

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the estimated gain or loss to his Department in Income Tax and Profits Tax if all wage and salary earners' personal incomes were brought up to a minimum of £6 per week with a proportional fall in taxable profits.

Sir S. Cripps

It is impossible to say what would be the effect on the Revenue of a hypothetical change of this nature.

Sir W. Darling

Am I to understand that the Chancellor is not unsympathetic to the view of the minimum wage?

58. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that 2,550 companies paid £112,670,000 in ordinary dividends in 1950 and £112,791,000 in 1949, and that since the appeal for restriction of wages made in February, 1948, wages have increased on an annual basis by some £160 million; and what steps he is taking to stop this inflationary process.

Sir S. Cripps

I would refer the hon. Member to my Budget Speech.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the Chancellor aware that I read his speech? Will he ask those claiming increases in wages what is the good of a thousand paper pounds a week if they are worthless because the credit of this country has been ruined by the Labour Government?